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Full House
The Last Dance
Season 7, episode 17
The last dance123.png
Air date February 8, 1994
Writer(s) Tom Burkhard
Director John Tracy
Previous Joey's Funny Valentine
Next Kissing Cousins

The Last Dance is episode seventeen of season seven on Full House. It aired originally on February 8, 1994.

Synopsis

Jesse's grandfather, Iorgos "Papouli" Katsopolis, is back from Greece for another visit. During this visit he meets Steve, as well as Jesse's two boys, Nicky and Alexander for the first time. The family finds it pleasant to have him around and even more pleasant is when he decides to help make dinner that night, even engaging in a flour-throwing celebration while yelling "Opa!" Jesse starts to intervene, but ultimately ends up joining in. Later on, he starts to teach Michelle a Greek dance and invites Jesse to join in but Jesse, having two left feet, declines to do so, opting to clean up the flour celebration from earlier. Papouli also agrees to come to Michelle's school to teach her class the dance the following week. The next morning, Danny goes to wake Papouli up only to discover that he has died in his sleep from heart failure.

Later that day, while the sun is shining outside the Tanner house, the mood inside is dark and dreary. Everyone is devastated and in tears as they learn the sad news. Jesse feels that it is a bad dream, but unfortunately, that bad dream is a reality, and it hit them like a ton of bricks. Jesse questions if there was something he could've done to avert the tragedy, but Becky assures him there was nothing he or anyone else could've done for Papouli. Jesse puts on a brave face, and ultimately ops to get busy notifying the other relatives about Papouli's passing and organizing funeral arrangements, declining assistance from D.J. and Joey, who offer to take care of it. D.J. is hurt by Jesse's refusal, but Becky assures him that his keeping busy is just his way of dealing with the pain.

When Michelle arrives home from school and her Honeybee meeting, with a project she made for Papouli, now wanting to give it to him. Looking at everyone else, she realizes something is wrong. Danny breaks the news of Papouli's passing, explaining that his heart simply gave out from old age. Michelle is even more devastated and shocked than they are. So much so, she refuses to accept the news, and throws the Honeybee project down on the floor breaking it into pieces and storms off upstairs in tears. Danny goes upstairs to talk to his "Little Princess" while everyone else continues to tearfully comfort each other with Joey comforting Stephanie and Becky comforting D.J.

Upstairs, as the camera zooms up on the window of her and Stephanie's room with the sad music from earlier replaying, Michelle is crying on her bed when Danny and (later) Stephanie each have a heart-to-heart with her (the latter's chat taking a cue from "Slumber Party" and the former reminding her they're still a family and she can come to him, Jesse, Becky, Joey, Stephanie or D.J. for help.) After Jesse ensures both are doing okay, and his "Little Munchkin" thinks about Joey stuffing a whole doughnut in his mouth (eliciting audience laughter for the first time since the bad news), Stephanie hugs and praises her sister with a brief "Good job, kid" for keeping it together at the moment and throughout the hard time that the family, as a whole, will have to suffer as a result.

Meanwhile, D.J. and Kimmy argue over a pair of sunglasses but Papouli's death helps them realize that their friendship is too important for them to argue over a pair of sunglasses; before his death, Papouli told D.J. a story about two Greek guys who were fighting over a pair of slippers and said even their friendship was more important than that.

After Papouli's death, Danny brings home a boat with Papouli's name inscribed on the lifesaver in his name. Jesse, who announces that he's going to Greece for a few days for Papouli's memorial, loves the boat and says Papouli would've loved it too.

Afterwards, Jesse gets a phone call from Michelle's school saying that Michelle was missing from school so Jesse tricks Michelle using a pudding cup and asks her why she is out of school. Michelle says that she could not find her backpack. After a long, heart-to-heart conversation (in which she says that she acted bravely for him), the two recall how much Papouli meant to them. Jesse still blames himself for Papouli's death, although Michelle insists that it wasn't Jesse's fault that Papouli died, he was simply old, and Jesse accepts this. Michelle asks Jesse if it's okay to cry; Jesse says it is, and they hug and cry at the same time.

Jesse takes Michelle back to school where the teacher and class express their sympathy for Papouli's death. Michelle tries to do the Greek dance Papouli promised but she is unable to remember a lot of it but Jesse, realizing it's what Papouli would've wanted, helps her by dancing with her (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).

Quotes

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[Most of the family is in the kitchen, grieving – most of them in tears – over the loss of Papouli.]
Jesse: [seated, as Becky rubs his shoulder and back of his head] It's like a bad dream or something.
Becky: [hugs him from behind] I know. I know. [sniffs] But you know, at least Papouli died peacefully [after he gets up, she gives him a proper hug (from the front – as shown in the photo)].
Danny: We all know how much he meant to you, Jess. He meant a lot to us, too.
D.J.: I'm gonna miss him. [...] [to her aunt, after offering to help Jesse with the arrangements, and he goes upstairs] Why won't Uncle Jesse let us help him?
Becky: [comforting her oldest niece] Oh, honey, it's his way of dealing with the pain, you know, by keeping busy.
[Michelle enters through the backdoor, coming home from her Honeybee meeting.] [...]
Michelle: I made this [her project] for Papouli. Where is he?
[Cut to a teary-eyed Stephanie.]
Danny: Michelle, Papouli's not here.
[She looks around at the family members.]
Michelle: Something's wrong.
Danny: Uh, sweetheart, this is, uh, this is not easy to say to you. Uh, this morning after you went to school, we went to wake up Papouli. ...Michelle, he died in his sleep last night.
Michelle: What?
Danny: He was just very old and his heart gave out.
Michelle: [on the verge of tears] No! He's not dead! [She throws down and smashes her project in anger and storms upstairs. Danny follows her, while everyone else continues to comfort each other.]


[Stephanie enters the room. Still a little devastated, shocked, and teary-eyed herself, it's now her turn to have a heart-to-heart with Michelle.]
Stephanie: [takes a breath as she walks over] Hey, Michelle.
Michelle: Hi.
Stephanie: [sits on her roommate's bed] How are you doing?
Michelle: I feel like crying.
Stephanie: Me too. [she sits down on Michelle's bed and comforts her the best she can] But we can't do that in front of Uncle Jesse.
Michelle: Why not?
Stephanie: Because, if he saw us cry, he might start to cry again, too.
Michelle: Uncle Jesse was crying?
Stephanie: He started to. He didn't want me to see, but I did. Michelle, we've gotta be brave for Uncle Jesse, and not let him know that we're sad too.
Michelle: I don't know if I can do that.
Stephanie: You have to.
Michelle: But how can I stop myself from crying?
Stephanie: Just think of something funny, like, uh, when Joey stuffs a whole doughnut in his mouth.
Michelle: Yeah, that always makes me laugh.


Michelle: Papouli was supposed to come to school today, to teach my class the Greek dance.
Jesse: I'm sorry, kiddo.
Michelle: I was afraid that if I went to school and Papouli wasn't there, I'd feel sad.
Jesse: Michelle, it's okay to feel sad.
Michelle: But if I feel sad, I might cry. And then I can't be brave... for you.
Jesse: Michelle, where'd you get the idea you needed to be brave for me?
Michelle: From Stephanie. She said you were so sad, we shouldn't make it worse.
Jesse: Oh sweetheart, Stephanie... she probably thought she was telling you the right thing to do but she was wrong. I'm gonna talk to her about that. Michelle, we should always share our feelings with each other. That's what makes us a family.

Trivia

  • The second and final appearance of Papouli; the first was in the season four premiere "Greek Week"
  • Prior to the airing(s) of this episode (summer repeats included), John Stamos gave a "note to parents"[1]
  • In Greek culture, "Opa!" is an expression used during celebrations such as weddings and often accompanies plate smashing
  • Kimmy's "Beavis and Boat-head" remark is a reference to the title characters of the 1990s MTV animated series Beavis and Butt-Head
  • Instead of the stills from just this episode, the credits are done over all the stills of Papouli's time with the family from both episodes
  • The only first-run episode to use the syndicated version of the opening theme song
  • A promo for this episode dubbed it a "Very Special Full House"[2]
  • The kitchen scene after Papouli dies is one of the saddest, most dramatic scenes of the series (if not the most); and out of the 8 actors (counting the Olsen twins), only 3 had prior experience in dramatic roles (John Stamos, Candace Cameron, and Lori Loughlin)
  • Steve, Nicky and Alex do not appear in this episode as they’re only seen at the beginning of the episode when Jesse and Papouli came home.
  • it’s possible that Steve told Kimmy about Papouli death since she wasn’t there when it happen and DJ probably told him about it.
  • it’s unknown what Nicky and Alex was doing or where they were after Papouli died or if they even know that he was gone however Jesse or Becky might’ve told them also they seemed to already know in the next episode

Goofs

  • During the flour-throwing, one of the times Papouli says "Opa!" his mouth doesn't move. 
  • The amount of flour that lands on Jesse and Michelle changes between shots. Most noticeably, a large amount of it disappears from Michelle's hair shortly after Jesse joins in.
  • When Michelle walks into her classroom, her backpack disappears from her shoulder between shots.
  • While talking about his grandfather.Jesse says he needs to make the arrangements. Michelle later comes home from school. It's been all day and Jesse is just now talking about making the arrangements.

References

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